Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Hi-TechStudio: You Need Your Fluids
Still photographers who pursue shooting video with their DSLRs will want to have a tripod head that’s appropriate to the job
|Manfrotto 504HD; Gitzo Series 2 G2380|
Sunpak VideoPro M2
That’s not always the case when it comes to shooting video. Sure, there are times when the camera just stays perfectly still on a tripod, but more often than not, you want to have the ability to pan and tilt with the action. And when you move the camera, you need to be able to do it smoothly. Ballheads are a poor choice in these situations because, by design, they move in all dimensions when loosened. To be able to move the camera smoothly, a fluid head is the proper tool.
The Gitzo Series 2 G2380 fluid head features pan and tilt locks and separate friction controls that are positioned on the same side so photographers and videographers can make changes quickly. The pan lock is also a good solution for long telephoto lenses that are susceptible to vibrations. The head can be set up for right- or left-handed operation, and there’s a dual-direction quick-release plate for removing the camera from the front or the rear. Estimated Street Price: $299. Contact: Gitzo, (201) 818-9500, www.gitzo.us.
The Manfrotto 504HD video fluid tripod head includes a PAN axis rotation unit that uses ball bearings for reducing vibration during movement. The Fluid Drag System (FDS) is available on both the PAN and TILT axes independently. The CBS counter-balance system includes four presets for accommodating variable camera weights, and the 504HD is the first to feature Manfrotto’s Bridging Technology, which adds a wider top plate and longer sliding plate for fitting bigger camera setups comfortably. List Price: $400. Contact: Manfrotto, (201) 818-9500, www.manfrotto.us.
Sachtler Video 20 S1
Fluid Heads From The Pro Video Industry
If you’re going to get heavy into video shooting, you eventually may want to invest in a pro-level video fluid head. These models are very expensive, but they’re also designed to handle any camera and lens combination you throw at them. Because they’re primarily pro video and film tools, the heads can handle capacities in the neighborhood of 30 to 50 pounds. Obviously, they’re overkill if you’re just using a midweight DSLR with “normal” lenses, but if you’re thinking about using a really big, fast telephoto on a regular basis or if you want to have the flexibility to use a heavy-duty video or motion-film camera, these models are good choices.
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